ITHACA, MARCH 6, 2018 — Hardworking and dedicated downtown retailers, entrepreneurs, program partners, and the city’s latest developments were in the spotlight Monday night as the Downtown Ithaca Alliance (DI
A) presented seven awards during its Annual Dinner and Awards Ceremony at the Marriott on The Commons.
“So many people work every day to make downtown a successful and vibrant place. This is our opportunity to highlight and recognize a few of these people and businesses that have helped to shape and grow downtown. The one common denominator for all of the awards…a passion for downtown and the community,” says Gary Ferguson, executive director of the Downtown Ithaca Alliance.
Among the awardees were Hotel Ithaca, named Economic Development of the Year; Petrune, named Retailer of the Year; and STREAM Collaborative, named Office Business of the Year.
Hotel Ithaca, an independently owned hotel on Cayuga Street was recognized for its recent and impressive renovations. A new five-story annex featuring 90 rooms and a meeting/conference space was added to the hotel’s site and other parts of the hotel were updated.
“The results are stunning. The Hotel Ithaca is now primed and ready to compete in the years to come,” says DIA Board Member and Common Council Alderman Seph Murtagh.
Petrune, a popular vintage and new clothing shop located in the middle of The Commons, was the second winner of the night. Petrune features two floors of rotating inventory and hosts a stylish tenant, Hair & Bristle, an upscale salon on the store’s second floor.
Murtagh says Petrune is a stellar example of experiential retail shoppers will enjoy when visiting downtown. Petrune is owned by Domenica Brockman and Justin Hjortshoj who received the award on behalf of the store.
STREAM Collaborative, an Architecture + Landscape Architecture firm, garnered its award for demonstrating its passion to grow and thrive. This innovative firm first emerged on the downtown scene occupying space in the Donovan building at the corner of Green and Cayuga streets.
STREAM Collaborative launched a novel business model that co-located like-minded creative businesses. The result was an exciting and dynamic place in downtown and a growing business. When they outgrew these spaces, STREAM opted to once again remain downtown and invest in a new second story walk-up office on West State Street.
“The results of their creative vision was astounding. A beautiful loft office suite complete with gallery space that has become yet another showplace in downtown,” says Murtagh.
In addition, awards were also presented to DSP Shows (Downtown Entrepreneur of the Year), the Family and Children’s Service of Ithaca Community Outreach Worker Program(Nonprofit Partner of the Year), and Cornell University’s CU Downtown (Partner of the Year).
DSP Shows, founded and owned by Dan Smalls, earned an award for its dedication to bringing top-notch entertainment to the community and the Community Outreach Program was awarded for its excellent job at informing people in need who are on the streets about programs and services that are available to them. Cornell University earned recognition for coordinating CU Downtown, an exciting and extremely successful annual student-oriented event that joins the DIA, Cornell, and TCAT. Margherita Fabrizio, who created CU Downtown and helped coordinate performance groups for the event, accepted the award on behalf of CU.
The DIA also recognized one of its own during this special ceremony by awarding its Board of Directors President Steven Headrick.
“Steven continuously goes above and beyond to represent our organization. He provides leadership for the board and mentors new members,” says Ferguson.
Headrick has served the DIA Board president for the last 3 years, logging countless hours of meetings on behalf of the organization. He represents the DIA at many formal and official gatherings and he religiously attends all of the DIA ribbon cutting and grand openings ceremonies.
The evening affair, sponsored by Tompkins Trust Company and Ithaca Renting, also focused on believing in downtown.
Special guests Rosie App CEO Nick Nikitas, Green Street Pharmacy Pharmacist and owner and DIA board member Nicole Pagano, and Brightworks Computer Consultingowner and DIA board member John Guttridge each offered master talks about their respective industries and explained why they chose downtown Ithaca as a place to start their business.
The DIA also provided an educational presentation with Autumn Leaves Used Books owner and DIA board member Joe Wetmore and DIA Executive Director Gary Ferguson outlining 20 years of DIA history, achievements, and future outlook.